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"That's because you..." - How to answer to "psychologizing"

Psychologizing could be defined in power dynamics as:

Telling people why they are the way they are based on their past history.

Depending on how it's delivered, it can be a big power move, and can be very annoying.
There are different ways in which psychologizing can disempower you.
Two of them:

  • It disempowers you by removing your power of choice -ie. "you only married your wife because she's like your mother (=it's not like you chose her based on good criteria")
  • It disempowers you by removing your authority to speak on a certain subject -ie. "you only say that being divorced is OK because you grew up without a dad" (= "your opinion doesn't count, you've been marred/biased by your past")


Julie: (...) But I believe that the man should be the sole provider
Sister: (looking at her with an "I pity you look") That's also because you've been living with dad for a long time

She takes some of the sting away by saying "also", but it's still a heavy attack.
It implies that Julie doesn't have a valid, self-formed opinion. Her opinion has been influenced by her being a "spoiled daddy girl", so what she says doesn't count.
And it also decreases Julie's status, indirectly saying that she has no experience about life, and is not independent (contrary to, it's implied, the attacker, who is independent, has life experience, and can speak with authority).

Now let's see how Julie replies:

Julie: No. You've been living with dad too, and have your opinions

Great, great retort.

The "no" is direct and stands out, a good "frame opposition", working as a salvo for what's about to come.
And what comes next is good, taking her sister down a notch, saying that she's been living with dad exactly like she did, and that she has her own opinion in spite of that, meaning that her psychologizing is irrational.

And she is also remains very feminine, getting most of the viewers' support and liking.

Very good.

I think it could have been even better with a few tweaks.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?